Today’s lesson comes to us from the lovely Karen. She’s the brains behind the awesome blog, Blog Goggles, and what I love about her submission is that it’s more of a how-to. And who couldn’t use a lesson or two in love?
As soon as Melissa announced her Tales From The Trenches series, I knew I had to participate. Why? Well, it’s fair to say that in college, I double-majored in history and dating.
But since I’m currently living in Hong Kong with my long-term boyfriend, I couldn’t think up any great stories. Instead, I pulled together a guide on how to meet men(the only part of the single life I get to live anymore). Since the boy works late, and my friends are all unattached, it’s something I practice a lot (I am an awesome wingwoman), and am surprisingly good at it. Welcome to my entirely unromantic, bullet-point guide to romance!
Point 1. Get out
Of course, we’d all like to meet someone organically (e.g. through a friend, in a class, etc), but I’m way too cynical to leave something this important up to chance. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to bump into/spill on the person of your dreams.
My favorite spot for meeting people? Bars. This might be an unpopular choice, but bars are an easy place for inorganic meetings. [Full disclosure: I spend about 85% of my free time in bars, so I’m really just writing what I know]
Think about it – you’re in a room full of strangers who’ve come for the sole purpose of having a good time (as opposed to a class or a job, where real things must be accomplished). There’s no time limit (as opposed to a coffee shop or grocery store, where people leave when they’re done with their drink/shopping). It’s an acceptable venue to talk to strangers (as opposed to a gym, where trying to pick someone up might be a bit creepy).
And finally, you probably have something in common with the other people in the room – at least they’ve chosen to visit the same bar as you. Maybe they live in the same area, or like the same music, or were just dragged by friends. Either way, it must be a place that decent people frequent, because, hey, you’re there! Plus, alcohol makes everything easier.
Point 2. Speak up
Pick-up lines have a bad reputation – and, for the most part, that rep is deserved. They’re generally cheesy, semi-insulting and used more as jokes than serious offers to get to know another person. But the worst part is that they’re mostly designed as one-offs – intended to make a statement, not to get a conversation started (e.g. there’s no natural answer to “did it hurt when you fell from Heaven?”).
However, pick-up lines serve a vital purpose in the meet-and-greet phase: making that first connection with another person. In this context, I’m referring to any opening statement as a “pick-up line,” because, really, that’s what they are – a reason to talk to/pick up another person. I have about half a dozen that I use on a regular basis, and they work more often than I would reasonably guess.
Why? Because they get the other person engaged immediately. Some examples:
**What are you celebrating? (if you see someone buying shots)
**This bar is so loud/crowded/smoky/dead tonight! (but make sure it’s true… or else you look desperate)
**So sorry! – did I bump into/spill on you?
**Did you go to UT? I’m from Austin!(if they’re wearing a sports/college/town shirt that you have some relationship to)
**You look so familiar – do I know you?*
Yes, I realize that written out like that, they look ridiculous (and are mainly applicable to the bar scene… sorry!). But if the person you’re approaching is at all interested in chatting with you, this gives them an easy way to do just that (as opposed to coming up a subject on their own). If it works, then who cares what the line was, right? And if it doesn’t work, forget them! Why would you want to talk to someone so cold and mean and heartless anyway?
Just don’t ask anyone if they have a mirror in their pocket. That is always a no.
Point 3. Choose the right candidates
This is a bit less practical, but an interesting thought exercise for all the singles out there. However, I’m dealing in huge stereotypes here, so please don’t get offended!
Think about the people who have been interested in you in the past – what do they have in common? Just like you might have an ideal “type,” you might be someone’s “type.” If this works for you, then focus on them – it’ll maximize your dating returns with much less effort.
For example, I’m a short, loud, highly irresponsible American who likes to party and cause trouble. As much as I might secretly wish to date an older, intellectual lit professor or European ab model, there is about zero chance that either of these types will be interested in ‘me’ as I am today (unless I’m the exception, but I prefer to play by the rules). And even if I was able to con them into dating me for a bit, I can’t imagine that it’d ever work out in the long run because our interests are so divergent (“you mean you don’t want to do flaming lamborghini shots on a Tuesday night?”). So these days, I focus my efforts on people who remind me of me – but not in a creepy “female Jerry” way.
If the guys you’re attracting aren’t what you’re looking for, then that’s a whole other blog post.
This has worked pretty well for me, but I’ve never explained it to anyone else (would be way too embarrassed that I’ve broken down something so personal into something so bullet-pointy), so I’d love to get your thoughts.
*To be fair, I think I know everyone. I have a horrendous memory.
[Photos via We Heart It]